Friday, September 23, 2011

Scrivy love

I love the things that I love. And since I love them, I shall tell you about them.

This week: Scrivener for Windows.

I'd heard about Scrivener from other writing friends before, but since I don't have a Mac (and don't plan on getting one) I didn't bother looking at it. Then I heard that they were making a version for Windows. I was still sceptical. I haven't been all that into writing programs. I've been using a plane old Word doc for years. But last month a new story idea hit me, one that will need more organization then others I've done. So I decided to check out this new Scrivener thingy.

OMG. It is so cool.

Not only does it have all the standard scene and chapter file organization (nothing particularly special there), but it has a way to split the screen so you can view two files at the same time (actually you can split it in a number of different ways). My favorite use for this feature is to have the top part the text I'm working on and the bottom to show pictures of the place holders I have chosen for each character (if you don't know what I'm talking about check out this post). So I'm essentially looking at the characters as I'm writing about them. Very cool feature that I didn't expect, but am really enjoying.

Another thing I like is the ability to see the manuscript in broken up scenes or as one long document. This is reminiscent of my single Word doc days, but it's much easier to rearrange scenes (drag and drop).

The cork board feature is cool, seeing the scene descriptions on little cards on the screen. I doubt I will use it that much. If I do write out scene cards I like to feel them and touch them and pin them on a board by hand. That's just me. If I weren't so neurotic about it, the ones on the screen would probably work just fine.

Scrivener also has a full screen mode with all kinds of adjustments (width of the typing space, opacity of the background, size of the text, etc.) That's nice when I want to block everything else out and type. There's also a setting that keeps the text your typing in the middle of the page so you're not looking at the bottom. I like that for typing new stuff, but not for editing because as soon as you type something it snaps it to the middle of the page. The text moving around like that I find a little disorienting, but it's not the big of an issue because I can just exit full screen and it doesn't do that.

Over all, really cool program and I'm still playing with all the buttons to see what else it can do. This is just the beta version that I have, but I haven't run into any problems with it yet. They are going to have the beta version up until September 30th. So if you want to try it out you better get over there.

I don't know when I will be for sale, but as soon as it is, I'm buying it! And as an added bonus they're giving a 50% discount to those who won NaNoWriMo last year (which I did ^_^).

Picture from SXC.

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